American Express Chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri made it clear that American Express wouldn’t offer crypto-linked cards in the near future. However, it is examining the crypto market and could potentially offer rewards points, besides taking an interest in stablecoins.
American Express Chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri, speaking at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit on Oct 25, said that the market wouldn’t be seeing American Express crypto-linked credit cards soon. Squeri did say, however, that he saw major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum as gold, as opposed to traditional cryptocurrencies.
The CEO showed restraint about such cards and put the market’s volatility as one of the major factors. He said,
I don’t see it as really something that’s going to make inroads with a credit card perspective in terms of payments. Why? Number one, there are still tremendous fluctuations. Number two, you have the service with it. You don’t have the dispute rights with it. You’re not getting rewards and you are not extending credit.
Squeri did note that the bank was focusing on potentially allowing cardholders to redeem membership and rewards points, as well as monitoring stablecoins. But that is as far as it will go in the current climate, it appears.
Amex, as it is also known, is also venturing into cryptocurrencies in other ways. The bank has a number of cryptocurrency initiatives going on, like many other banks in the nation. It goes to show that the banking industry is slowly warming up to crypto, a trend that is growing faster.
Financial institutions diving into crypto
While there may not be out-and-out support for cryptocurrencies, banks are not shying away from experimenting with the technology. American Express itself allowed cardholders to purchase unique NFTs. But perhaps what made the largest headlines in recent times is Bakkt’s and Mastercard’s collaboration that will result in crypto debit and credit cards.
With respect to cards issued by major financial institutions, there hasn’t been too much to note. However, MasterCard and Visa have both taken multiple fundamental steps towards working with the crypto asset class as they note that interest in crypto is growing.
MasterCard has purchased crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace, while Visa has published a whitepaper for central bank digital currency (CBDC) and stablecoin interoperability. Both have shown interest in NFTs.
A more robust integration of cryptocurrencies will likely arrive after regulators have established a clear legal framework. This may take months or years even, but the market is poised for a wider adoption of cryptocurrencies.